Sunday, June 29, 2008

Samuel Eliot Morison

The other day, a blogger from Virginia linked to me because of our mutual interest in Samuel Eliot Morison. A Historian in which I am very interested. He has written a number of terrific works, many of which are in my library. Amongst my favorites are Admiral of The Ocean Sea, a great biography of Columbus. Other works of his I like include The European discovery of America, the Northern Voyages and its companion volume the Southern Voyages. Morison also made quite a name for himself in writing a 15 volume history of the U.S. Navy in World War Two.

I compare Morison to U.S. Nautical History as Bruce Catton is to U.S. Civil War History. They both wrote with an easy going style that made reading about history a pleasure instead of boring. I highly recommend his European discovery of America series to readers who may be curious about the age of discovery but are put off by their traditional concept of history as a boring series of dates to memorize. Morison will change your mind.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

This is the "Peach Orchard," at Gettysburg, Pa. It was here that the 141st Pennsylvania fought valiantly for a good part of the afternoon on July 2, 1863. A Civil War personality that I have connected with was badly wounded in the left leg here. The gentleman's name was Caspar Tyler. I first became interested in Tyler when I was researching local Civil War regiments at the Historical Society. They asked me to read a diary and see if I could identify the writer. After a few weeks I did using several clues found in the diary.

Tyler's diary entries so intrigued me that I decided to pursue a history of his life which eventually was published in the Journal South of the Mountains. It was such a rewarding experience that I used Tyler as a basis for a presentation I did on tracing one's CivIl War ancestor. The lecture has been very well received over the years and is one of the highlights of my attempt to stay connected to the history of this country.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WAITING, waiting.......................

Oh, I am so tired of waiting. Its to the point now where I almost don't care, well almost..... Since 1996 I've had this desire to restore the ship I once served on while in the Coast Guard back to active use. It is now 2008, some 12 years later and we are still struggling to find a home port for her, the former USCGC Tamaroa aka USS ZUNI. Part of me wants to save it because I became of age on her. But part of me wants to save her because I am so tired of all these nautical war memorials that are carriers or cruisers or battleships. Doesn't anyone realize that wars need to be fought on the sea by the likes of sea plane tenders and oilers and salvage tugs like the Zuni as well? Without these auxilary ships that supply parts and fuel and even towing services, where would the big boys be??

We are close I'm told to getting a home port in NewPort News, Virginia. I've been disappointed too many times in the past though to get excited again. I'll wait and see. If it happens, no one will be happier than me; but, regarding the Z-T and a home port, I'm a real pessimist.

Monday, June 23, 2008

60th Birthday today

Well another milestone come and gone. I'm 60 today. Had a really nice celebration yesterday. Went to a snazzy restaurant called Civiles on the Hudson River with the family. Judi, Regina, Ange, Dan and Sasha all came. Food was good and as usual we gabbed the night away. My body feels 60 but my mind sure doesn't :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Herrington Harbour Inn

Due to fortuitous circumstances, I received a nice bonus from my company. We thought we would not be able to go away anywhere this summer. However, we will be spending a long weekend at the Herrington Harbour Inn near Deale Maryland in August. The bungalows are right on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and our room has a hot tub.

Oh the lap of luxury.

Zuni-Tamaroa Newsletter

This quarter's edition of the Mighty Z Tribune is out. Here is the link

Its a little shorter than usual because the ship is in an inaccessible place at the moment. We hope to be sharing good news with you all in a couple of weeks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Liam and Kermit the Frog

The latest Liam gem!! A cute little twerp, looks just like me, chubby and bald :-)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Laughing Liam

Here's a great shot of my grandson Liam. Just received it from my daughter-in-law Christina. Looks like a happy kid. We'll be seeing them in August. Looking forward to it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No Vacation This Year ):

We won't be going on vacation this year. No Boothbay or Sagamore. Its not the gas thing. That doesn't phase me. We need to spend a few more bucks in the kitchen and on the upstairs to complete the house's renovations. Its a shame because I really love Maine and would go back up there, preferably Southport Island in a heart beat. Of course there's always Red's Eats in Wiscasset too.

We try to split our summers between Boothbay and Lake George. I want to try a new shore resort I discovered by accident in Deale Maryland. Herrington Harbor. Beautiful place right on the Chesapeake Bay.

New Car: To Be or not To Be!

This is not meant to be chauvinistic or sexist; however, a humrous incident occurred in our 37 year marriage the other day. Back in 1999, Regina and I bought a new Hyundai Elantra for her. She has loved the car for the last 10 years. Trouble is after she shared it with two of our three kids, the car is pretty beat up. Appearance wise it looks like hell. Mechanically, it still runs like a dream.

Those Koreans really know how to make good engines.Doesn't suprise me since they also make steamships. At any rate we had our first problem in 75K miles with it. The head gasket blew. They had to keep the car over night. The dealer was good enough to give me a loaner while the 99 Elantra was being repaired. I brought it home and gave it to Regina for use.

We had the car for an extra day. When we swapped cars ( it was a 2008 Elantra) she tells me, "I'm going to miss that car, it was really nice."Last year I put 25K in a special fund to purchase for her either an electric car or a hybrid, whichever car is more viable when the fund matures. We discussed it at length. I told her I can't liquidate the funds without taking a penalty. Now she's annoyed because she has to drive her once loved chariot for another three years before she can get a new car. (sigh).